Smart content appears to be the wave of the future because it provides a better experience for visitors to a website. When individuals visit a website, the site takes notice of what they are interested in and uses this to provide the visitor with a more personalized experience. The content changes to ensure it is relevant to the visitor based on their past behavior or interests. Static content is not able to accomplish this, which helps to explain why more companies are turning to this smart content, often referred to as dynamic content. With the help of a CRM system or marketing software, a marketer finds they are able to customize the pages of the site. For instance, current customers may see one page and leads another. This ensures every visitor gets the most from the site.
How Companies are Benefitting from Smart Content
Individuals who use a music service likely already receive smart content. For example, when a person listens to Pandora, the service takes note of the music they like and provides more songs of a similar type. With time, the person is able to create a station that is personalized to their tastes. Nest, the smart thermometer, does something similar. It records patterns of behavior and adapts to handle temperature changes so the user does not have to. The companies are identifying data points and adjusting to better meet the needs of the user.
How This Benefits Marketers
Marketers have actually been offering smart content for some time now. For example, businesses have been customizing their email campaigns for years, segmenting the email list based on specified characteristics. By doing so, they found they were able to increase both click-through rates and conversion rates. Current and potential customers aren’t exposed to information that won’t be of benefit to them while receiving the material that is most relevant to their needs. Now web designers are doing the same with other marketing channels.
Why Smart Content?
A study conducted in 2013 by Janrain and Harris Interactive found that 74 percent of consumers on the internet become frustrated when they encounter content that is not pertinent to them. When a visitor arrives at the site and finds exactly what they want, they are more inclined to stay on the site. Smart content ensures this is exactly what happens with each person who arrives on the website. Information is pulled from the customer relationship management system or a marketing database and uses a set of smart rules to determine what the visitor should be shown. With an integrated system, website owners find they can provide a consistent experience across channels.
What Not to Do
As Facebook has recently learned, consumers need to give permission before any information is obtained. A failure to do so leads to a loss of customers which no business wants. Furthermore, the data collected must be accurate or the right content will not be displayed. Finally, consumers don’t want to feel as if their privacy is being invaded. By over-personalizing a site, the business may find their strategy backfires. Smart content should only be used when it helps the viewer or guides them to the information they desire.
Experiment with smart content to see how it works for the site. Furthermore, avoid showing repetitive content while providing information relevant to the viewer’s role, persona, or industry. Don’t oversell, however, especially when the visitor is a current customer. By following these simple guidelines, companies find they benefit from the use of smart content without overdoing it.
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